Let’s kick things off with a rundown of you and your books. In other words, tell us about yourself and what you write!
I’m a 38-y-old fake ginger, and before anyone starts protesting that only a real ginger can call a ginger ginger, my real ginger friends have assured me that after more than 20 years of dyeing, I can call myself an honorary ginger. Also, my birthday is in October, so by the time this gets published, I may already be 39. I like a cold lake early in the morning, and coffee-flavored chocolate. I write fantasy, mainly, from different angles.
How long have you been writing? And how long have you been publishing?
I’ve been making up stories ever since I was a kid, but I only started writing them down after my son was born in 2008. I tried earlier, but it never felt right. I was too young, too clueless. My impression was and still is, good writing needs to be backed up by experience and understanding. You can’t write convincing characters if you can’t empathize with them, and it takes a certain amount of watching and walking in different shoes to really comprehend other people’s driving factors. I started publishing in 2013, after a long and ferocious battle with my first novel, which included two rough drafts originally written in German, my native tongue, a translation/rewrite, another rewrite…you don’t really want to know… (But in case you’re wondering, yes, it gets easier once you’ve found your voice as a writer.)
What “kind” of writer would you describe yourself as?
I’m self-published, or what you generally call an indie author. I took to that route pretty quickly, after just a couple rejections, when I realized that my mainstream potential is somewhat limited.
You’ve published both short stories and novels. Do you prefer one format over the other or do you just let each story unfold at its ideal length?
The latter, and I rarely know what it’s going to be. If you told me to write something with a preset word count, I probably could do it, but I wouldn’t be happy with it. I let the characters decide. If they tell me that they aren’t done with the story yet, well, who am I to contradict? Take my Resident Witch series, for instance. I thought I was writing a short story about how a high school girl escapes a rape attempt, and now it’s already two books with a word count of about 83k each. And all because of a white rabbit and a leftover bear. No typo, that.
Your Tales of Istonnia series focuses on a city state resembling historical Italy. How closely have you based this setting on real history?
Not at all. It’s fantasy. I did my bit of research on the development of technology over time, though, so that I’d have a fair idea of what I’d better not use. I like my fantasy to be realistic, especially since there’s no magic in that series and people have to get by on their wits alone. And the occasional bit of luck.
There’s also a photography section on your website featuring free-to-use images. Why did you decide to let other people use these images?
Because community spirit. I don’t perceive other authors, or other indie artists in general, as competition. We’re all in the same boat trying to make good art within a budget the size of a genie’s living space. I know how grateful I am to Nickleus (http://nickleus.com), who lets me use his music for free for my book trailers, or to all the people who put license free images and fonts up on the internet and thereby make it possible to keep the costs for book covers for us indie authors at something around zero. If I can give something back to this community, I’m happy to do it.
What’s next for you?
Another book, I suppose. I’m part of a collective named Cake & Quill (http://cakeandquill.wordpress.com). We publish themed anthologies, with all the proceeds going to charity. We’re close to entering the editing stages of our third – as yet untitled – anthology. Wish us luck!
Angelika Rust was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, she lives in
Germany, with her husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a
hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza
delivery girl to HR consultant, she now makes a living knowing a little
She doesn’t know yet what she wants to be when she grows up, whenever
that may be. In the meantime, she writes the occasional book.